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Women & Science
Statistics and Indicators

  • Exactly how many women are there in European research?
  • Are there more women than men?
  • How are women distributed across European research?
  • Is European research affected by a gender bias?
  • Are women interested in different areas than men? Do they go on to work in the fields in which they have studied?
  • Can they expect the same rewards and benefits from a scientific career as their male counterparts?
  • Are there barriers to women's productivity within the scientific system?
  • Do women achieve and produce more than men?
  • Why are women less likely than men to seek research funding?
  • How are women scientists regarded by their peers, both male and female?
  • Who defines the rules of the scientific game?

Although it is still not possible to answer all of these questions, the following pages contain information that can help us begin to understand the answers. You can download the latest indicators available on the subject of women and science for the 25 EU Member States and the 7 countries associated to the European Union's 5th and 6th Framework Programmes. If you want to examine these data for your own analysis, you can also download the raw statistics.

Where do these data come from?

For many years, both women scientists and policy makers have been asking for data about women's participation in the different scientific fields. The need to build indicators is acknowledged in the Commission's Communication, in two Council's Resolutions (20 May 1999 and 26 June 2001) and Council Conclusions (18 April 2005), as well as a Resolution of the European Parliament. In order to approach the lack of sex-disaggregated data on scientists, the Commission has developed a double-track strategy:

The Women and Science Unit in collaboration with the Statistical Correspondents of the Helsinki Group on Women and Science and Eurostat have been collecting data on women scientists for nearly 2 years. These pages contain consolidated statistical information from the cross-national perspective for all available years since 1990 on a variety of themes.